top of page

2022/2023 Illustrated Talks


Tuesday 27th September 2022

Talk by Leslie Primo

Foreigners in London  1520-1677: The Artists who Changed the Course of British art


Why were foreign painters preferred by the aristocracy in London to native-born English painters, why did foreigners come in the first place, what was their motivation, and what was the impact of foreigners in London on English art and art practise? The talk will look at the various formats and uses of art, tracing foreign artists from the Tudor period through to the Renaissance and Baroque, looking at their origins and how they came to work in England.

art theft 1.jpeg

Tuesday 25th October 2022

Talk by Shauna Isaacs

How to Steal a Million

art theft 2.jpeg

We have all heard about audacious art heists that are more like blockbuster movies than run-of-the-mill burglaries. In this talk, we are going to look at famous art thefts, discuss what motivates art thieves as well as examine what aspects the thefts have in common. We will also look at where the burglars made mistakes, which enabled investigators to swoop in and recover stolen masterpieces.


Tuesday 29th November 2022

Talk by David Worthington

Sculpture & Architecture


It is likely that the first architects were the stonemasons who built the temples and cathedrals. So sculptors were the architects. In the ancient world the building was a plinth for a sculpture such as the golden Athena on the Parthenon. Over time the sculpture became decoration before being stripped by the ‘less is more’ credo. However, the two arts remain closely intertwined with both inspired by and observing each other closely. A sculpture has its architecture and good architecture is sculptural. This talk will trace this inter-relationship showing how in an age of Computer Aided Design an understanding of sculpture is more important than ever for architecture.

manni 1.jpeg

Tuesday 31st January 2023

Talk by Manni Coe

"Brother Do You Love Me"?


The story of Reuben Coe and his elder brother Manni. Reuben has Down’s Syndrome and had not spoken for several months when Manni decided to take him out of a home for specialised care. Their memoir of resilience and repair, set in the Dorset countryside, told in words by Manni and pictures by Reuben, is described by the publisher as a “story for our times: one that explores what it means to care for the people we love, and asks how, as a society, we can take better care of each other.

art forgery.jpeg

Tuesday 21st February 2023

Talk by Marc Allum

Fakes & Forgeries

Nockolds Logo.jpg

Thank you to Nockolds Lawyers Spain for kindly sponsoring this month's talk

art fake.jpg

Marc has long been a collector of interesting and historical fakes and this talk centres on man’s age-old fascination with faking and forging. Citing some of the greatest exponents of the craft and illustrated with a plethora of challenging examples, you are certain to never look at art antiques in the same way again!

busby 2.jpeg

Tuesday 28th March 2023

Talk by John Francis

The Girl with the Tutti Frutti Hat: The Magic of Busby Berkeley, Director & Choreographer

busby 1.jpeg

God’s eye camera, scantily dressed women and kaleidoscopic patterns are the trademark visual devices of Hollywood’s legendary musical director. Apart from the glamour, surrealist setups and excess of the ground breaking musicals of the 1930s, Berkeley’s films also explored romantic love, gender roles, social issues and the impact of the Great Depression. In this illustrated talk we will examine key musicals such as Gold Diggers, 42nd Street, Roman Scandals and the later, The Gang’s All Here. Be prepared for an unalloyed musical visual extravaganza!


Tuesday 25th April 2023

Lecturer: James Butterwick

The Dark Side of the Boom: The Mass Faking of the Russian Avant Garde


The Russian Avant Garde movement contained some of the greatest names of its generation. Malevich, Chagall, Kandinsky, Exter, Popova, Rozanova, Rodchenko, Tatlin and countless others blazed a trail through Art History for an all-too brief period. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a flood of newly-discovered works appeared on the Western and domestic markets of which the vast majority, up to 95%, had neither verifiable provenance nor exhibition history.

moma 2.jpeg

Tuesday 30th May 2023

Lecturer: Andrew Hopkins

The Rockefellers:
A Dynasty of Art Collectors


Even today the Rockefellers are the richest and most powerful family in the USA – they not only amassed one of the greatest art collections of the 20th Century, but also donated their 9 storey New York townhouse on Fifth Avenue to found the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA. Although an incredibly private family that has avoided scandal, our speaker Andrew once worked in one of Harvard University’s research institutes, whose director had been married to a Rockefeller, so he learnt some of their secret and shameful stories.

Meet our Experts

Marc Allum.jpeg
John Francis.jpeg
james butterwick.jpeg

Leslie Primo


Leslie holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London. Currently he lectures at the City Literary Institute, Imperial College, London, and has presented a series of talks at the National Maritime Museum and the Courtauld Institute.

Shauna Isaacs


Shauna has been active in World War II art restitution for several years and has worked with families and government organisations to recover Nazi looted art.

David Worthington


David has been drawn to abstract sculpture since seeing a Barbara Hepworth in a school history book aged 10. He graduated from Oxford University in 1984 with a degree in Philosophy and Theology, then studied fine art in London, Barcelona and New York.

Manni Coe


Manni is a director of Toma & Coe a Tour Company which specialises in escorted excursions, private tours, bespoke tours and small group tours of Andaclucia, uncovering a unique land of contrast, art, gastronomy, culture and ‘duende’ - getting to the heart of the Spain you never knew.

Marc Allum


Marc is a freelance art and antiques journalist, writer and broadcaster based in Wiltshire.He is shortly to begin his 23rd year as a specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow and has appeared on numerous television and radio programmes.

John Francis


John is an inspirational speaker who has delivered lecturers, workshops in the US (Texas, California, Massachusetts), Beijing, Malaysia and the UK. Initially trained as a painter, later in his career John produced and directed several short films and animations.

James Butterwick


James began collecting and selling Russian Art in 1985 and has established himself as one of the world’s leading experts. He moved to Moscow in 1994, becoming the only foreign member of the Russian Society of Private Collectors and began forming collections. He speaks Russian fluently.        

Andrew Hopkins


Andrew was Previously Assistant Director of the British School at Rome from 1998 to 2002 and since 2004, Associate Professor at the University of L'Aquila. Part of his PhD (Courtauld Institute 1995) on Venetian architecture was awarded the Essay Medal of 1996 by the Society of Architectural Historians (GB).   

Image by Robert Keane
For those members who cannot wait a whole month for a cultural "fix", click here for an up-to-date listing of art exhibitions and other cultural events in the local area - kindly supplied by the Sur in English.
bottom of page